I can’t remember when I started drinking Gloria Ferrer. Gloria Ferrer was one of the first domestic sparkling wines that my friends in the industry took seriously. It was delicious and affordable and so it ended up at a lot of our parties and celebrations. Gloria became so ubiquitous that we ended up on a first name basis. Gloria was our de facto bubbly and our lives were made better because of it.
Gloria Ferrer was founded in 1982 by the Ferrer family as their primary venture into California winemaking. Owners of Freixenet, one of the big Cava producers in Spain, the family’s lifelong dream was of producing wine in the United States. The winery was named after José Ferrer’s wife, Gloria. The couple continue to run the winery together to this day.
Gloria Ferrer’s wine making mission is: To capture the full expression of the distinctive Carneros terroir in wines made to pair perfectly with food.
Gloria Ferrer ‘Blanc De Noirs’ NV is just about a perfect food wine as you can find. This is delicious and elegant sparkling wine made from Carneros Pinot Noir. Its sweet, sunny fruit and gentle precision feels properly Californian. The texture is soft and polished, lasting on a clean chamomile scent that will keep you coming back for more. “Vibrantly floral strawberry and gingerbread aromas pair with crisp red apple and spice flavors that bounce along the finish.” 90 pts Wine Spectator
Which brings me to food. This wine is delicate enough for lighter fare but has the ability to pair with Steak (Surf and Turf anyone?) The richness of the Pinot Noir makes it perfect for richer seafood dishes. Crab Ravioli, Coquilles St Jacques, Seafood Fettucine.
A lovely and elegant dish that will liven up any dinner party is Crab Bisque. It is relatively easy to make and can stretch one crab a long way. You can find Dungeness Crab from around $9.99 a pound for 1 to 2 pound crab. Paired with a Sparkling Blanc de Noir you have a perfect night.
Dungeness Crab Bisque
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large crab cooked and meat removed, shells roughly chopped
*** Mire Poix
2 onion, finely chopped
2 small carrot, finely chopped
2celery stalk, finely chopped
1 medium fennel bulb, chopped
4 cups water
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 cup dry white wine
¼ cup medium-grain rice
2 tablespoons tomato paste
¼ cup Pernod
Pinch of saffron threads
1 cup heavy cream
water, as needed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- In a large sauce pan combine half of the mire poix and crab shells add bay leaf and garlic. Cover with water (4 cups). Simmer for 20 minutes, strain and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, fennel and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes until soft
- Add the stock, wine, rice, tomato paste, Pernod and saffron. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the rice and vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes.
- Puree the mixture in a blender until very smooth. Add cream. Thin with water if desired. Season with salt and pepper. Strain through sieve into a clean sauce pan.
- Return to heat and bring to a simmer.
- Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with cooked crab and chives